Top Energy Stocks
Energy stocks were still mixed in late trade, with the NYSE Energy Sector Index declining about 0.1% while shares of energy companies in the S&P 500 were up about 0.3% as a group. Crude oil for March delivery settled $1.03 higher at $53.78 per barrel while February natural gas futures faded this afternoon, finishing with a 5-cent rise to $3.39 per 1 million BTU after earlier reaching a session high of $3.49.
In company news, VAALCO Energy ( EGY ) rallied Thursday after the crude oil and natural gas producer last night reported Q4 and FY16 production activity exceeding its previous forecasts.
Production during the three months ended Dec. 31 averaged around 3,650 barrels of oil equivalent per day, topping its prior outlook expecting between 3,300 to 3,600 barrels. The rise in Q4 volume was helped by the acquisition last month of an additional 3.23% participating interest (or 2.98% working interest) in the Etame Marin Permit from Sojitz Etame Ltd.
For the entire 12-month period, production grew to 4,200 barrels of oil equivalent, coming in at the high end of the company's guidance range of 3,900 to 4,300 barrels.
The company also said volumes during the new year already are running well ahead of prior-year levels following the Jan. 5 completion of a workover at the Avouma latform offshore Gabon in western Africa, with production averaging around 4,600 barrels of oil equivalent this month.
EGY shares were up more than 14% in late trade at $1.30 apiece, earlier topping out today with a session high of $1.41 a share.
In other sector news,
(+) CRR, Excluding $0.31 per share in after-tax costs, Q4 net loss of $0.26 per share beats Street view by $0.47 per share. Revenue falls 48.8% to $29.1 mln, missing $23.95 mln consensus. Still exploring "certain asset monetization opportunities" to strengthen balance sheet.
(-) HP, Fiscal Q1 net loss of $0.33 per share is $0.04 narrower than analyst consensus. Revenue falls 24.4% from last year to $368.6 mln, topping $332.3 mln Street view. Increases expected FY17 capital costs by 75% to $350 mln.
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